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Division Director

R.J. Castellanos


Risk Management
200 East Gaines Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0336
Main Number
(850) 413-3120
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Claims Process

General Liability and Automobile Liability Claims Process

Claims filed under General Liability or Automobile Liability coverages allege negligence on the part of a state employee, agent or volunteer. The State of Florida waived its sovereign immunity to be sued for negligence claims (tort claims) in 1972 with the passage of s.768.28, F.S., “Waiver of Sovereign Immunity in Tort Actions.” Claimants who allege they have sustained bodily injury, personal injury, property damage or death due to negligence of a state employee, agent or volunteer must adhere to the provisions of s.768.28, F.S., when filing a claim and lawsuit against the State of Florida.

Claimants must put the state agency involved in the claim and DFS on notice of their claim in writing within 3 years of occurrence and suit cannot be filed until after a 180 day investigation period unless the claim is denied. Service of process must be on the agency and DFS. Tort recoveries are limited to $200K per person, $300K per occurrence. Amounts in excess of these limits must be collected from the legislature through the claims bill process. Failure to follow the procedural requirements of s.768.28, F.S., can result in dismissal of the claim.

There are no statutorily required forms for submitting a tort claim in writing. On this website you will find the following forms to aid you in this process but a narrative letter describing the facts and nature of your claims is usually sufficient.

  • Statement of Accident (for claimants)
  • Statement of Claim (for claimants)

TORT CLAIMS SHOULD BE MAILED TO:

Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Risk Management
200 E. Gaines Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0338
(850) 413-3122

TORT CLAIMS CAN BE FAXED TO: 

(850) 413-2730


State agency personnel should report all automobile accidents and general liability incidents to Risk Management as soon as possible using the contacts above and later in this section. State agencies may utilize the following forms on this website:

  • Automobile Accident Report
  • General Liability Loss Report
  • What to Do In Case of An Automobile Accident- “Know Before You Go” Brochure

 

Federal Civil Rights Claim Process

There are no notice of claim requirements or forms for reporting a federal civil rights claim to Risk Management. Claimants can outline their claim in a notice letter or can file a lawsuit with no waiting or investigation period.

Employment Discrimination Claims Process

Employment discrimination claims must generally be filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR), or with the agency’s internal grievance process. Claimants filing with EEOC or FCHR cannot file a lawsuit until the agency makes a “cause” or “no cause” determination and issues a “Right to Sue Letter.” This determination can take up to 180 days.

Reports made under the Florida Whistle-blower’s Act, s.112.3187, F.S., must generally be made to the Office of the Chief Inspector General, or agency Inspector General, FCHR, the whistle-blower’s hotline, or any entity having authority to investigate the report.

Court Awarded Attorney Fees Claim Process

Section 284.30, F.S., states:

“A party to a suit in any court, to be entitled to have his or her attorney’s fees paid by the state or any of its agencies, must serve a copy of the pleading claiming the fees on the Department of Financial Services; and thereafter the department shall be entitled to participate with the agency in the defense of the suit and any appeal thereof with respect to such fees.”

Failure to follow the procedural requirements of this section can result in dismissal of the claim.

Internal Claims Process

All liability claims received by Risk Management are reviewed by an Administrator. Most claims are “set up” as active claims and assigned to a claims adjuster for handling. The claim adjuster will investigate the facts to determine legal liability. If the state is liable, the adjuster will determine a monetary amount for damages sustained and make an appropriate settlement offer. The adjuster will either settle, not settle or deny a specific claim.

If a claim is not settled and a lawsuit is filed, Risk Management will retain a defense attorney for the state and the adjuster will continue to monitor and supervise the litigation to conclusion.

County Referral” Process and Database

Per s. 768.28 (6) (a), F.S., claimants who want to file a claim against a Florida County (a subdivision of the state), must present their claim in writing to the county and copy the Department of Financial Services (DFS) within 3 years after such claim occurs. Neither Risk Management nor DFS have any financial interest or responsibility for claims filed against Florida Counties but we must intake and record receipt of these notice copies. We enter information from these county claim notices into our database and will provide an Affidavit about receipt of these notices on request.

Per s. 768.28 (7), F.S., claimants who file a lawsuit against a Florida County must serve a copy of the lawsuit on DFS. Service must be done by a Process Server on the DFS Service of Process Office, Larson Building, 200 E. Gaines Street, Tallahassee, FL.

 

For administrative issues, problems or other concerns:

Ray Williams

Bureau Chief of Liability and Property Claims

Division of Risk Management

200 E. Gaines Street

Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0338

(850) 413-4850

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Monique Melett

Records Specialist

Division of Risk Management

200 E. Gaines Street

Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0338

(850)413-4852

Click to Email